Release Date:October 2006
Book Preview: "Northern Cross"
Private pilot George Ashton seems to have it all: the dream job, the beautiful wife, the lovely home...and twenty-five years of guilt from a college caper gone murderously wrong. When his past catches up with him in the sinister form of Brady Keyes, it's all too clear that the visit is about more than just sharing old times. Brady is looking for a pilot to fly a very special--and highly illegal--mission. Manipulated and exploited, George piles betrayal on betrayal in a desperate attempt to reclaim his life--and as the stakes escalate, he discovers that to challenge the forces ranged against him, he must dare as he never dreamed.
I was "hooked" after the first page of this fast-paced adventure/thriller of a young man facing some tough choices. An ordinary guy willing to risk everything. It is a smart and sassy read...but touches all our emotions. What would we do under the same circumstances? I look forward to more books by this author.
Reviewed by: Linda S. Albee
He kept his turns shallow. The big twin was sluggish operating with a single engine and a feathered propeller so he had to be careful not to lose airspeed too quickly. A stall at this stage would be fatal. He turned on final, lined up with the strip and dropped the landing gear. He would be coming in over the tall pines to a relatively short runway so he increased his descent rate. When he was sure he had the runway made he applied full flaps and cut back power a little. He could see a vehicle racing along the side of the runway, probably to be at the end to greet Haley's Comet after her rollout.
Passing over the last of the pines George chopped the power and the plane sank rapidly toward the runway threshold. Even with the light crosswind, landing on one engine was tricky and he had his hands full keeping lined up with the runway. Trying to keep the nose high and flare for a gentle, soft field touchdown ate up a lot of runway. Before he knew it almost a third of the strip was behind them, so he pulled back on the wheel until the stall horn sounded and dropped the last three or four feet onto the grass. The hard landing caused the plane to swerve as it dug into the soft ground but George danced on the rudder peddles and managed to keep from going off the runway.
A military-style Jeep sat at the far end, which was approaching rapidly. Men jumped out and scattered to either side, not sure if the plane would stop in time. George glanced out the side window and noticed the trees speeding by. He'd increased pressure on the brakes carefully but firmly, trying to bring the aircraft to a stop without skidding, but now he pressed down harder and reduced the flap angle to put more weight on the wheels. The airplane finally came to a stop, the nose dropping down and then bouncing back up, not five feet from the Jeep.
When the plane stopped moving, George looked out at the jeep and saw Brady Keyes, sitting alone and staring back, the trace of a smile creeping across his face. They studied each other for a few seconds--then George turned around to check on how his passengers were doing. Strand and Haley were both pale but they seemed to be all right. With trembling hands George shut down the airplane and undid his seatbelt and shoulder harness.